Root Canals

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At Heroes Dental in Texas, we often see patients who are absolutely miserable with pain come into our office. It’s usually safe to assume they will be needing a root canal.

A root canal is performed to help repair a severely damaged and decaying tooth. The nerve and pulp are removed from the tooth, and the inside of the tooth is sealed and cleaned. We know this does not sound pleasant at all, but neglecting to repair it is even worse. The tissue around the tooth can become infected and form an abscess.

What Conditions Are Root Canals Used To Treat?

Cracked Teeth

If your tooth has cracked far enough that the pulp is affected, you may need to undergo a root canal and receive a dental crown.

Filling Issues

Fillings can pull away from the tooth, leaving an area for bacteria to grow and cause tooth decay that can be treated with a root canal.

Deep Cavities

If you have a cavity that has reached your tooth pulp, the inflamed pulp can be removed and the tooth can be cleaned during a root canal.

Signs You May Need a Root Canal


Root canals are used to treat severe tooth decay and damage. Sometimes, there are no symptoms associated with these issues. However, you can watch for these symptoms for an idea of whether or not you might need a root canal:

  • A hole in your tooth
  • Significant toothaches
  • Pimple-looking sores or blisters on the gums
  • Pain while chewing
  • Swelling in the gums
  • Swelling in the face and neck
  • Tooth darkening or discoloration

Keep in mind, these symptoms are associated with several different types of dental issues. You’ll need to see your family dentist to determine which treatment is right for you.

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Root Canal Frequently Asked Questions

What Happens During a Root Canal?
First, an anesthetic will be used to numb the area near the affected tooth. Then, a dental dam will be put in place to keep the area clear of saliva. Next, your dentist will drill a small opening in the crown of your tooth. Through that opening, your dentist will remove the damaged pulp from inside your tooth. After preparing the area, your dentist will fill the cleared space with a rubber-like material. The area will most likely be covered with a temporary filling with the expectation that you will come back in to get a dental crown.
How Common Are Root Canals?
One common misconception about root canals is that they’re very rare. In fact, at least 15 million root canals are performed in the U.S. every year. For adults, about 12% of the population has had a root canal. For reference, that’s more than twice the number of people who have broken a bone.
Are There Any Alternatives to a Root Canal?
Root canals are a method for treating a severely damaged tooth without removing it. As such, the alternative to root canals is tooth extraction.
What Can I Expect Following My Root Canal Treatment?
Your mouth will be numb for up to four hours following your procedure, but you should be able to return to your regular activities on the same day. You can treat any lingering pain with over-the-counter pain medications, and avoid eating while your mouth is still even a little bit numb.

If you’re suffering from tooth pain, come see your McAllen family dentists at Heroes Dental for all your dentistry needs.

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